SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

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Multi-omics studies promise the improved characterization of biological processes across molecular layers. However, methods for the unsupervised integration of the resulting heterogeneous data sets are lacking. We present Multi-Omics Factor Analysis (MOFA), a computational method for discovering the principal sources of variation in multi-omics data sets. MOFA infers a set of (hidden) factors that capture biological and technical sources of variability. It disentangles axes of heterogeneity that are shared across multiple modalities and those specific to individual data modalities. The learnt factors enable a variety of downstream analyses, including identification of sample subgroups, data imputation and the detection of outlier samples. We applied MOFA to a cohort of 200 patient samples of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, profiled for somatic mutations, RNA expression, DNA methylation and ex vivo drug responses. MOFA identified major dimensions of disease heterogeneity, including immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region status, trisomy of chromosome 12 and previously underappreciated drivers, such as response to oxidative stress. In a second application, we used MOFA to analyse single-cell multi-omics data, identifying coordinated transcriptional and epigenetic changes along cell differentiation.

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eLife is conducting a trial in which authors will decide how to respond to the issues raised during peer review.

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To investigate the associations between direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) and risks of bleeding, ischaemic stroke, venous thromboembolism, and all cause mortality compared with warfarin.

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The ecological forces that govern the assembly and stability of the human gut microbiota remain unresolved. We developed a generalizable model-guided framework to predict higher-dimensional consortia from time-resolved measurements of lower-order assemblages. This method was employed to decipher microbial interactions in a diverse human gut microbiome synthetic community. We show that pairwise interactions are major drivers of multi-species community dynamics, as opposed to higher-order interactions. The inferred ecological network exhibits a high proportion of negative and frequent positive interactions. Ecological drivers and responsive recipient species were discovered in the network. Our model demonstrated that a prevalent positive and negative interaction topology enables robust coexistence by implementing a negative feedback loop that balances disparities in monospecies fitness levels. We show that negative interactions could generate history-dependent responses of initial species proportions that frequently do not originate from bistability. Measurements of extracellular metabolites illuminated the metabolic capabilities of monospecies and potential molecular basis of microbial interactions. In sum, these methods defined the ecological roles of major human-associated intestinal species and illuminated design principles of microbial communities.

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Zika virus (ZIKV) emerged on a global scale and no licensed vaccine ensures long-lasting anti-ZIKV immunity. Here we report the design and comparative evaluation of four replication-deficient chimpanzee adenoviral (ChAdOx1) ZIKV vaccine candidates comprising the addition or deletion of precursor membrane (prM) and envelope, with or without its transmembrane domain ™. A single, non-adjuvanted vaccination of ChAdOx1 ZIKV vaccines elicits suitable levels of protective responses in mice challenged with ZIKV. ChAdOx1 prME ∆TM encoding prM and envelope without TM provides 100% protection, as well as long-lasting anti-envelope immune responses and no evidence of in vitro antibody-dependent enhancement to dengue virus. Deletion of prM and addition of TM reduces protective efficacy and yields lower anti-envelope responses. Our finding that immunity against ZIKV can be enhanced by modulating antigen membrane anchoring highlights important parameters in the design of viral vectored ZIKV vaccines to support further clinical assessments.

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α-Synuclein (α-Syn) aggregation, proceeding from oligomers to fibrils, is one central hallmark of neurodegeneration in synucleinopathies. α-Syn oligomers are toxic by triggering neurodegenerative processes in in vitro and in vivo models. However, the precise contribution of α-Syn oligomers to neurite pathology in human neurons and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate the formation of oligomeric α-Syn intermediates and reduced axonal mitochondrial transport in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from a Parkinson’s disease patient carrying an α-Syn gene duplication. We further show that increased levels of α-Syn oligomers disrupt axonal integrity in human neurons. We apply an α-Syn oligomerization model by expressing α-Syn oligomer-forming mutants (E46K and E57K) and wild-type α-Syn in human iPSC-derived neurons. Pronounced α-Syn oligomerization led to impaired anterograde axonal transport of mitochondria, which can be restored by the inhibition of α-Syn oligomer formation. Furthermore, α-Syn oligomers were associated with a subcellular relocation of transport-regulating proteins Miro1, KLC1, and Tau as well as reduced ATP levels, underlying axonal transport deficits. Consequently, reduced axonal density and structural synaptic degeneration were observed in human neurons in the presence of high levels of α-Syn oligomers. Together, increased dosage of α-Syn resulting in α-Syn oligomerization causes axonal transport disruption and energy deficits, leading to synapse loss in human neurons. This study identifies α-Syn oligomers as the critical species triggering early axonal dysfunction in synucleinopathies.

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Seasonal vaccines are currently the most effective countermeasure against influenza. However, seasonal vaccines are only effective against strains closely related to the influenza strains contained in the vaccine. Recently a new hemagglutinin (HA) stem-based antigen, the so-called “mini-HA”, has been shown to induce a cross-protective immune response in influenza-naive mice and non-human primates (NHP). However, prior exposure to influenza can have a profound effect on the immune response to subsequent influenza infection and the protective efficacy of vaccination. Here we show that mini-HA, compared to a trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV), elicits a broadened influenza-specific humoral immune response in NHP previously exposed to influenza. Serum transfer experiments showed that antibodies induced by both mini-HA and seasonal vaccine protected mice against lethal challenge with a H1N1 influenza strain heterologous to the H1 HA included in the TIV. However, antibodies elicited by mini-HA showed an additional benefit of protecting mice against lethal heterosubtypic H5N1 influenza challenge, associated with H5 HA-specific functional antibodies.

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Direct or new oral anticoagulants (NOACs), including the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran and the direct factor Xa inhibitors rivaroxaban, apixaban, and edoxaban, have recently revolutionized the field of antithrombotic therapy for stroke and systemic embolism prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Randomized controlled trials have shown that these agents have at least comparable efficacy with vitamin K antagonists along with superior safety, at least in what concerns intracranial hemorrhage. As a result, NOACs are indicated as first-line anticoagulation therapy for NVAF patients with at least one risk factor for stroke or systemic embolism. The rapid introduction, however, of NOACs in a field dominated for decades by vitamin antagonists and the variety of agents and dosing schemes may create difficulties in decision making. In the present article, we attempt to determine a practical approach to the choice of agent and dose in different clinical scenarios by considering not only the results of seminal randomized trials and post hoc analyses but also data from real-world patient populations as well as the recently available possibility of rapid NOAC reversal.

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Seasonal signals caused by the Earth’s surface mass redistribution can be detected by Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The authors analyze the effect of Helmert transformation parameters and weight matrices, as well as the additional draconic signals on seasonal signals, in the GNSS coordinate time series. Moreover, the contribution of environmental loading models to the GNSS position series is assessed. Position time series of 647 global stations, with spans of 2⁻21 years are collected to generate six cumulative solutions using different parameters estimated in a deterministic model, as well as weight matrices. Comparison among the different solutions indicates that Helmert transformation parameters and weight matrices can result in a root mean square of 0.1 mm and 0.3 mm for seasonal signals, respectively. Compared to the displacements obtained from environmental loading models, seasonal signals estimated with the Helmert parameters and full weight matrices considered seems to have the best agreement with the results of the loading model. Meanwhile, the additional draconic signals are not effective to be parameterized in the deterministic model with an observation time span less than 15 years, marginally. There are 62%, 72% and 90% of 647 stations with weight root mean squares (WRMS) reduced by removing the loading-model-induced changes from the GNSS residual series for the east, north and vertical components, respectively. Finally, to obtain a velocity estimation with a bias of less than 0.1 mm/yr induced by seasonal signals, the position series with a time span greater than seven years is suggested.